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Sam Taylor-Wood (born London, England, 4 March 1967) is a contemporary artist working mostly in video and photography. She has been identified as a member of the young British Artist group, and is a graduate of Goldsmiths College. She is married to her art dealer Jay Jopling. she also inspired artists such as Louis Joseph Higgins.
Taylor-Wood's parents divorced when she was a teenager, and she moved with her mother and step-father to a new-age commune in Surrey. Her mother abandoned the family when her daughter was sixteen and she moved into a bed-sit to live alone. Having fared poorly in exams, it took Taylor-Wood several years to gain the required qualification for entry into art school. After a year at a North London Polytechnic, she transferred to Goldsmiths College to complete a Fine Art degree in 1990.
Following University, Taylor-Wood held jobs at the Royal Opera House, and managed the Camden Palace nightclub. In 1991 her work began to appear in a number of group exhibitions alongside that of contemporaries from Goldsmiths. Her breakthrough came in 1994 with the work "Killing Time" in which four people mimed an opera score. From that point multi-screen video works became the main focus of Taylor-Wood's work. Beginning with the video works "Travesty of a Mockery" and "Pent-Up" in 1996, Taylor-Wood began to use professional actors. Her work since 1996 has often featured celebrity friends: Elton John was included in a large photo-work, and commissioned Taylor-Wood to make a promotional video starring Robert Downey Jr. for one of his records. In 2002, Taylor-Wood was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery to make a video portrait of David Beckham sleeping.
She is also a long-time collaborator with Pet Shop Boys having produced films for their Somewhere concerts at the Savoy Theatre, London. She has also been guest vocalist on two Pet Shop Boys produced songs - in the Boys' rendition of Serge Gainsbourg's "Je t'aime... moi non plus" and Donna Summer's "Love to Love You Baby". For the latter of these two releases, she used the pseudonym Kiki Kokova.